Chinatown-International District

What's Happening Now?

Attendees at CID open houseAn Open House Event was held on February 28 at the International District Chinatown Community Center. Over 75 people attended to learn more about the Chinatown International District (CID) planning process and work of the five Workgroups that is underway. Community Liaisons were available to provide translation services in Chinese and Vietnamese. Deputy Mayor Mike Fong was in attendance and made welcome remarks along with OPCD Director Sam Assefa.

Interpreter at CID open houseCommunity members who attended were encouraged to visit Workgroup information stations to meet with community members participating in the workgroups and City staff who are supporting their work. People provided comments and suggestions at each of the Workgroup information stations.

We also asked attendees to respond to two questions about the future of the CID. Here are some of your responses:

What are you most concerned about?

  • "Affordability: for small businesses and residents to stay in the area."
  • "Environmental safety and cleanliness."
  • "Communication with property owners and residents before decisions are made."

What matters most?

  • "Public Safety."
  • "For people in this community to continue building community and deliver the services they need - especially seniors and immigrants."

Each Workgroup will continue to meet regularly throughout 2018. During spring and summer each Workgroup and will be working on identifying preliminary recommendations that they will present to the CID Advisory Committee and the community for consideration and further input.

We are partnering with the CID community to address a set of neighborhood-identified priorities. Our CID Framework and Implementation planning process will result in a set of community recommendations to address these key priorities.

A community Advisory Committee has been formed to provide overall direction and to oversee the work of five priority area Workgroups. The Advisory Committee meets monthly in the CID neighborhood. Its meetings are public and are open to all.

We have established an interdepartmental team (IDT) that brings together key City staff who are working on policies, programs and capital investments in the CID neighborhood. This team meets regularly to share information on work underway, will apply the City's Racial Equity Toolkit (RET) to multiple projects collectively, and will support the work of the CID Advisory Committee and its five Workgroups.

The illustration below shows how the Framework and Implementation Plan work has been structured to into five major Elements and how the Advisory Committee and it's five Workgroups will work to engage with the CID Community.

Project Elements and Advisory Committee Structure

Project Outcomes

The CID Framework and Implementation Plan will be the vehicle for documenting, communicating and guiding the implementation of recommendations related to the five key priority areas.

We anticipate the following outcomes:

  • Implementation of strategies and tools to help preserve affordable commercial spaces in the CID.
  • Implementation of policy and/or legislation that enhances affordable housing strategies in the CID.
  • Advancing the development of the Little Saigon Landmark Project. 
  • Recommendations for culturally appropriate design guidelines for new development in the CID and updated guidelines for the ISRD.
  • A consultant report on the feasibility for transitioning City facilities out of the Charles Street Campus property and recommendations for future community-oriented uses.
  • Improved communication with the community regarding capital improvement projects in the CID and better coordination of their implementation.
  • CID Public Ream report that documents existing, planned and potential future public realm improvements in the CID and incorporates the placemaking efforts of community-based organizations.

Get Involved

We are partnering with community stakeholders (residents, community organizations, business and property owners) to help develop strategies that respond to the CID community's priorities for future investments and improvements.

Together with the CID Advisory Committee, focused Workgroups and Community Liaisons we will ensure an inclusive process where the community will identify specific strategies and projects that will support implementation of recommendations that advance identified neighborhood priorities over the next several years.

The CID Advisory Committee

The CID Advisory Committee was established to collaborate directly with the members of the City's Interdepartmental Team and engage with the community via Workgroups to ensure that the implementation actions reflect the voices and balanced interests of the community. In June of 2018, the Advisory Committee decided to disband and allow the Workgroups to carry out their work independently.

CID Advisory Committee Members:

Pradeepta Upadhyay, Co-Chair
Maiko Winkler Chin, Co-Chair
Cassie Chinn
Elaine Ishihara
Esther Lucero
Jessa Timmer
Marlon Herrera
Miye Moriguchi
Quynh Pham
Shanti Breznau
Sonny Nguyen
Sue-May Eng
Sunshine Monastrial
Tanya Woo
Tammy Deets
Tiernan Martin

Project Workgroups - Prioritized Plan Elements

Five Workgroups were formed to focus on the five Elements of the Framework and Implementation Plan. Each workgroup is comprised of members of the CID Advisory Committee, additional community members who have expressed interest, and key City staff members who support each workgroup. Community priorities will guide each workgroup's work. Sign up for a workgroup by emailing Janet Shull.

Community Stabilization
This workgroup was established to consider a range of strategies to preserve affordability and address potential displacement of small businesses, including non-profit organizations, that contribute significantly to the neighborhood's cultural identity. This workgroup is also focusing on strategies to ensure that development pressure does not result in displacement of the neighborhood's affordable housing resources and encouraging a healthy mix of housing at various levels of affordability. The Office of Economic Development and the Office of Housing will play key roles for the City.

ISRD expansion and Design Review
The CID neighborhood previously fell within the catchment area of three design review areas. On January 1, 2018, the ISRD boundary was officially expanded to include the entire CID neighborhood. This workgroup is informing the development of updated ISRD design guidelines and will also help inform potential amendments to the Land Use Code. Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation program, OPCD and SDCI staff will play a lead role in this work. DON and OPCD have secured consultant resources to support this work.

Charles Street Campus Master Plan Analysis
The CID community has long expressed a desire for the City to engage in a process to explore the feasibility of transitioning current City uses out of the Charles Street Yard facility, to provide opportunities for broader community use. This workgroup worked with the City's Department of Finance and Administrative Services in review of a consultant study of the potential to surplus some or all of the Charles Street Yard to provide future redevelopment opportunities. The consultant study focused on departmental operational needs, tradeoffs and costs and benefits of various options. The consultant study was completed in the Summer of 2018 and concluded that relocating current uses is prohibitively expensive. In light of the study findings, this workgroup has decided to discontinue meeting.

Capital Project Coordination
This workgroup creates a forum for City and CID neighborhood review of planned City and other major public capital projects to ensure coordination, look for leveraging opportunities, consider project timing and to inform outreach and mitigation efforts. The Department of Neighborhoods has a lead coordination role. Senior staff from City capital departments are participating in this workgroup.

Public Realm planning
This workgroup will map existing public realm/open space assets and identify future improvements. Elements include park development, streetscape improvement projects, transit hub area improvements and other projects. The Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Parks Department staff play key roles in this workgroup.

We would like to hear your ideas about how to shape the future of the Chinatown-International District neighborhood. You can also sign-up for our listserv to receive updates about this project (see email form on the right, or scroll down to the bottom of the page if you are viewing this page on a mobile device).

Project Documents

The Chinatown-International District Framework and Implementation Plan will be the vehicle for documenting, communicating, and guiding the implementation of coordinated capital improvements in the neighborhood. Check this page often as we will update to add meeting notes and project documents in the months ahead.

Advisory Committee Meeting Notes

Workgroup 1: Community Stabilization

Workgroup 2: ISRD and Design Review

Workgroup 3: Charles Street Campus Master Plan

Workgroup 4: Capital Project Coordination

Workgroup 5: Public Realm


The CID Framework and Implementation Plan builds on the work of many as represented in these studies and plans that have captured the community's vision for the future.



Winter 2016 - Spring 2017

  • Project Scoping
  • Develop overall workplan

Spring - Summer 2017

  • Establish Interdepartmental Team 
  • Establish Advisory Committee

Summer - Fall 2017

  • Convene Advisory Committee
  • Establish Advisory Committee Workgroups
  • Fine-tune workplan for each Element and its Workgroup

Fall 2017 - Winter 2017

  • Convene Workgroups
  • Develop Community Outreach Plan 
  • Develop template for applying the Racial Equity Toolkit to multiple CID capital projects
  • Develop Framework for future investments
  • Share proposed Framework with the Community

Winter 2017 - Summer 2018

  • Workgroups develop recommendations for implementation
  • Racial Equity Toolkit is applied to multiple projects in the CID
  • Advisory Committee and IDT consider Workgroup recommendations
  • Ongoing community outreach to inform implementation actions

Summer 2018 and Beyond

  • CID Implementation Plan is developed and shared with community 
  • Implementation Plan recommendations are formalized and presented to Mayor and City Council
  • Develop a structure for ongoing community involvement with implementation of coordinated capital investments

Chinatown-International District Timeline

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